Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Offers 2011 Medicare Advantage Plans for Annual Election Period

(Providence, RI, 11.8.2010)

CMS launches AEP November 15 through December 31

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI), the state's leading provider in the Medicare market, has several Medicare Advantage plans to choose from during the Center for Medicare & Medicaid's (CMS) Annual Election Period (AEP) for the upcoming 2011 plan year. If you are eligible for Medicare or wish to switch your Medicare plan, it can be done beginning November 15, 2010 through December 31, 2010.

BCBSRI offers four individual Medicare Advantage plan options, including three with Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage:

  • BlueCHiP for Medicare Core offers more benefits than Original Medicare but does not include prescription drug coverage.
  • BlueCHiP for Medicare Standard with Drugs delivers the same benefits as BlueCHiP for Medicare Core and includes Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
  • BlueCHiP for Medicare Plus offers lower copayments, prescription drug coverage and additional vision services.
  • BlueCHiP for Medicare Preferred provides for additional vision and hearing services, out-of-network coverage, and covers generic drugs in the coverage gap at their applicable copay.

The plans above have several programs to encourage and help Medicare members to maintain a healthy lifestyle. All BlueCHiP for Medicare members can choose to participate in "Living Fit," an unlimited-use membership at a participating health club for $15 per month. The plans also offer a wellness discount program called Blue365, which provides discounts on products and services for improving or maintaining their health, including fitness, nutrition, weight loss and LASIK. BlueCHiP for Medicare plans limit members' healthcare expenditures by having maximum out-of-pocket limits. The plans also provide personalized care coordination with BCBSRI nurses as needed, and wellness programs for asthma, COPD, diabetes and heart disease.

Based on new federal guidelines, this AEP period is the only time members can switch plans. In previous years, members were able to make changes between January and March, but that is no longer the case. Instead, the Medicare Annual Disenrollment Period is from January 1 through February 14 and members can only switch to Original Medicare and choose to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan and/or a Medicare prescription drug plan if they are not currently enrolled in one.

BCBSRI also offers three Medicare Supplement plans and two stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans that are designed to supplement Original Medicare benefits.

BCBSRI is hosting meetings about our Medicare options throughout the state in November and December. Interested individuals may visit, under the Plans and Services heading, click on the Plans for People with Medicare, then the 2011 BlueCHiP for Medicare link and then Attend an informational presentation under the for more information heading.

Additional information about the Medicare Advantage or Supplement plans can be found at, or by contacting BCBSRI at 1-855-690-2583 "my0blue" or 401-459-5550 or visiting our Customer Service walk-in area at 500 Exchange Street in downtown Providence, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state's leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit

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